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St. Francis graduate signs with NBA team

Kobi Simmons signs with Memphis as free agent



NORTH FULTON, Ga. — Passed over in the 2017 NBA draft, St. Francis graduate Kobi Simmons will get his shot in the NBA after signing with the Memphis Grizzlies as a free agent on July 1.

Details of the signing were not disclosed, but Simmons’ signing could be a two-way contract.

The newly implemented two-way contracts would allow Simmons to appear on the Grizzlies roster for up to 45 days in addition to playing for the Grizzlies’ G League affiliate – the Memphis Hustle – where many NBA experts believe he will play the majority of next season.

In a statement on social media, Simmons said, “Your dream as a child is to play in the NBA, and I made that happen through ups and downs, haters, negativity as well as support. Thank you to Memphis for believing in me and giving me this amazing opportunity. My story is just starting.”

A 2016 graduate of St. Francis, Simmons declared for the NBA draft in April after his freshman season at the University of Arizona. Though he was projected to be a mid to late second round pick, Simmons went undrafted in the June 22 draft.

During his freshman season with the Wildcats, Simmons scored 323 points and had 60 rebounds, 73 assists and 24 steals. He started 15 games for Arizona, which reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

While at St. Francis during 2013-16, Simmons appeared in 124 games and scored 2,456 points, including 799 in his senior season. He also accounted for 409 rebounds, 520 assists, 225 steals and 51 blocks. Simmons holds school records in scoring, assists and steals.

He led the Knights to four state championship appearances, including two Class A-Private state titles in 2014 and 2015.

Simmons is the third North Fulton graduate to sign with an NBA team in the past two years. Simmons’ former St. Francis teammate Malik Beasley was drafted 19th overall by the Denver Nuggets in the 2016 draft and 2012 Chattahoochee graduate Jaron Blossomgame was selected 59th overall by the Spurs in this year’s draft.

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